Last week after our big windstorm in Duluth, the ever wonderful Debbie Waters got a call about a couple of downed baby Merlins in my neighborhood, and since she was out of town, she called me and asked me to pick up the babies and bring them to a woodlot just across the street from the nest tree. I'd already picked up one baby the previous weekend--at that point I put it back on a low branch in the nest tree, but apparently it wasn't quite ready to grasp branches well, so Debbie had already come in and re-rescued that one.
When I got there on the 12th, one baby was still on the ground, so I picked it up and carried it across the street and found a branch it could hang onto pretty well. The mother squawked and circled over me the entire way, so she knew exactly where the baby was. Then I headed back to find the second one. I couldn't find it anywhere, though I searched the ground and in the low branches of shrubs in all the adjacent yards, too. But then I looked up and voila! That baby was probably still a bit clumsy, but it had apparently crossed over to the fledgling stage, and was now perched in the pine tree.
I added a bunch of photos of the little family to my Merlin Photo Gallery. My favorites: